Today, most of people die because of some kind of illness that we do not yet have a cure for. However, if that was not the case, how long can human body possibly live for? Is there a theoretical maximum at which our brain will simply refuse to function due to age alone, or can we remain conscious forever if we could simply swap our brains into new bodies without any risk?

  • $\begingroup$ technically we mostly die becasue the body systems start failing as we age this makes us susceptible to disease. Its kinda like AIDS, if you have it it is an infection that will kill you but really AIDS is the reason you got the infection in the first place. Technically the infection killed you but ultimately it was having AIDS that did it. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Apr 25, 2017 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ @John - Body systems failing is directly fatal disease. Does kidney failure predispose you to other causes of death? What about congestive heart failure, or straight up myocardial infarction? The only common examples of killer infectious diseases in the elderly I can think of are UTI's and pneumonia. Can you be more precise perhaps? $\endgroup$ Apr 25, 2017 at 4:55
  • $\begingroup$ Yes sorry that is a bit confusing the way I worded it. My point was that if we have a cure for all illnesses then you have a cure for aging. The current theory of senescence "detrimental aging" is that it is a product of our own genes not be proof test by evolution for how they interact much beyond our reproductive age combined with them not producing structures that last forever. It is difficult to cure age related illness becasue they are a product of a "healthy" body acting as it naturally would. If you can "cure" this then you can make people live as long as you want. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Apr 25, 2017 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


Even in perfect environmental conditions we would age. Living is associated with a myriad of deleterious processes, both random and deterministic, which are caused by imperfectness, exhibit cumulative properties, and represent the indirect effects of biological functions at all levels, from simple molecules to systems. Here is a good read on this topic https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27060562

Even if nothing else was wrong (which is not the case) the accumulation of intracellular and extracellular junk which our systems are unable to dispose of (lipofuscin, amyloid beta, etc) would eventually kill us. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senile_plaques

As for the maximum age - nobody we know of made it past 125 years yet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_verified_oldest_people


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